I am based in the Psychology of Language department at the University of Göttingen, and I am currently working on the P3 project. This project examines mechanisms underlying children´s early word learning skills. While we know that children are capable to successfully establish word-object associations by 36 months of age (Eiteljörge et al., 2019), it is still debated whether these processes are specific to language (Fulkerson & Waxman, 2007; Waxman& Gelman, 2009) or a result of perceptual associative learning (Sloutsky & Robinson, 2008). We therefore want to investigate the developmental trajectory of children´s early word acquisition and the boundary cues they use. In doing so, we hope to better understand a) the underlying processes of language acquisition across development and b) factors that contribute to the flexible acquisition when learning a new word. As a child acquires language from a multimodal environment, we further investigate whether the presentation of redundant information from two domains (language and actions, for a review see Eiteljörge et al., 2019) enhances word learning (Gogate et al., 2000; 2001; 2006; 2014). If temporally aligned stimuli from different domains facilitates word-learning, young children should then benefit more from synchronous information input.
Prof. Dr. Nivedita Mani (University of Göttingen, Germany)
Prof. Dr. Birgit Elsner (University of Potsdam, Germany)